This winter is going to be a tough one for so many households in England; and insulation advice is being offered out to home owners concerned about skyrocketing energy bills and the climate consequences of energy use. While grants and government schemes are useful in the short term for helping people to financially survive the cold weather, insulation remains by far the best long term option for those who can afford it. Insulation reduces your heating bill and your carbon emissions. So many Cornwall and Devon homes are older, and are in real need of insulation! (To find out more information about how to renovate an old or listed building, see our blog post about how to renovate and look after listed buildings.)
What’s the use in heating a home if you’re going to lose that heat quickly? Here is some insulation advice from a construction company based on the border between Devon and Cornwall, who knows a thing or two about insulation!
Walls lose around one third to half of the heat generated in a home. So we recommend getting some kind of wall insulation to start off with. But what kind of wall insulation is right for your house? Cavity wall insulation is insulating materials placed in between two walls. You can usually tell if your walls are cavity walls just by looking at the brick pattern. The bricks are ordinarily laid horizontally, end to end, in an even and regular pattern; this can often be seen on red brick new builds.
Cavity wall insulation is fairly straightforward to install. A construction worker will drill holes in the exterior wall, and will syringe insulation foam into the holes; this will set and trap the warm air into little pockets. This air moves more slowly away from your house, meaning that you use less energy over time. Alternatively, cavity wall insulation can take the form of insulating wool, packed in layers; you can even use natural materials such as sheep’s wool or plant-based insulation. The holes drilled will then be filled in after the insulation has been syringed into the holes.
If you have a solid wall, the process will be slightly different and might take a little longer. With solid walls, the aim is to make an air pocket, like that in cavity walls. Your wall may be a solid wall if the bricks or stones are laid in different directions; for example, if you can see the ‘end’ of a brick or stone. When insulating a solid wall, a constructionist will either fix internal boards to your wall, or will build an external. In between this double layer will be insulation material, just like in a cavity wall.
Well within ten years, wall insulation pays for itself in how much it will save you on your energy bill. Therefore, if you’re planning to stay in your home for that long, it’s well worth paying for wall insulation to be installed. (A semi-detached solid wall home will cost around £3000 to insulate, and the energy savings will be around £300 annually, though as energy prices continue to rise, your savings could be more!)
Laying insulation in your loft is a fairly simple task, some people even choose to do it themselves if they are able to crawl around in a loft space and unroll the insulation wool. You should additionally make sure that all holes in your roof are fixed, to prevent damp, drafts and leaks. For tips on how to find a reliable team of roofers, see this article from Cornwall-based roofers, Bristow & Reeve.
Installing loft insulation can save you just under £200 in energy bills every year. And when insulation wool costs between £2-£4 per square metre, it’s a no-brainer!
Remember that insulating a house also adds value, and is compliant with updated to building regulations that help the UK’s houses become more energy-efficient!
If you need a contractor to fit your wall insulation, call Hysmark for a quote tel:01288381256